Focaccia Con Le Cipolle

(Flatbread with Onions and Rosemary)

 1 envelope Active Dry Yeast (2 ¼teaspoons)
1 cup very warm Water
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
7 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1 medium-size Onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary (in flower if possible)
Coarse Sea Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

 

1.       In a large bowl put ¾ cup of the warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let set for 2 minutes.  Add 1 ½ cups of the flour.  Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes.  Shape into a ball.

2.       Dust the inside of a large bowl with flour; press dough into bowl.  Cover with a damp towel.  Let rise in a warm place, 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until doubled in volume. 

Hint: I heat my oven to just under 150° F.   Place the covered bowl in the oven and set the timer for 1 ½ hours.  This works very well on colder days.

3.       Punch down dough.  Add remaining 1 ½ cups of flour, remaining warm water, ¼ cup of the Olive Oil and the 2 teaspoons of Sea Salt.  Mix in using a wooden spoon or your hands.  Knead for 8 minutes or until dough feels smooth and elastic.   Let rise in warm place for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in volume.

4.       Soak the sliced onion in cold water for 15 minutes; changing water 3 times.  Drain onions and dry with paper towels. 

5.       On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out using a rolling pin to about a 12 by 15 inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.  You may also make this in a 14 inch round if you would like to use a pizza stone for baking.  I have a few bricks I place in my oven and the rectangle works better for me.  You may also use a sheet pan to bake this on if you don’t have a baking stone.

6.       Transfer the dough to a wooden pizza peel or a flat sheet pan without a rim; which you have dusted with flour to prevent sticking.  Roughen dough by poling the surface with your fingertips, making small indentations that will hold the Olive Oil.  Spread the onions over, pressing in lightly.  Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of the Olive Oil over.  Sprinkle with a little additional salt if desired, using a coarse salt.

7.       Bake in hot oven (400°) for 15 minutes, if ¼ inch thick, or 5 to 10 minutes longer if thicker.  Sprinkle with fresh Rosemary, cut into 18 pieces and sprinkle with Rosemary flowers if available.  Serve warm; do not refrigerate.

 

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